Some light at the end of the tun­nel

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - OPINION -

AS a town Ash­ford suf­fers more than its fair share of traf­fic prob­lems. When Op­er­a­tion Stack is in­tro­duced the whole area can be grid­locked. The dif­fi­cul­ties cre­ated by the cur­rent works on re­ar­rang­ing the ring road are adding to the town’s traf­fic woes. The prob­lems at the Junc­tion 10 in­ter­sec­tion are well-known to mo­torists stuck in jams there. Yet there could fi­nally be some light at the end of the tun­nel. Kent County Coun­cil was to­day due to un­veil its sug­gested al­ter­na­tive to Op­er­a­tion Stack. A hunt for a suit­able site for a new lorry park to pro­vide ex­tra spa­ces for the for­eign lor­ries that are blight­ing Or­bital Park and other parts of the town is, we are told, now un­der way. The con­struc­tion of a new junc­tion – 10a – on the mo­tor­way now seems des­tined to go ahead, even though con­struc­tion costs have rock­eted from £45mil­lion to £56 mil­lion. And, fi­nally, fund­ing for a new rapid bus sys­tem to link new out­ly­ing hous­ing de­vel­op­ments and em­ploy­ment sites around Ash­ford to the town cen­tre has been ap­proved. All th­ese schemes may have a long way to go be­fore they come to fruition, but pa­tience should ul­ti­mately be re­warded. If Ash­ford is to con­tinue to ex­pand it will un­doubt­edly need the trans­port in­fra­struc­ture and sys­tems to cope with more work­ers, vis­i­tors and res­i­dents.

All th­ese schemes may have a long way to go be­fore they come to fruition, but pa­tience should ul­ti­mately be re­warded

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